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 V.25 No.35 | September 1 - 7, 2016 

Idiot Box

Dope Jam

“Mary + Jane” on MTV

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Rapper/entrepreneur Snoop Dogg serves as executive producer (and let’s just go ahead and assume “consultant”) on MTV’s newest, weed-based sitcom “Mary + Jane.” The show centers around two twentysomething gals in Los Angeles trying to launch their own app-based marijuana delivery service. Yes, that pretty much makes them drug dealers. But as they like to say, they run a “mostly legal prescription delivery service” aimed at hipsters, Hollywood stars and the occasional hat-wearing trendoid who just got a book deal off their blog.

So how do a couple of dope-smoking millennials run a successful business? They don’t, really. Paige (Jessica Rothe) is the slightly more responsible of the two. According to her, she “was going into event planning” before joining her friend Jordan on this weed-based venture/adventure. She’s also kind of neurotic and lacks a certain sense of self-esteem (as witnessed by her spotty dating history). Jordan (Scout Durwood), on the other hand, is a consequence-ignoring advocate of the “wake and bake” who believes “random sex cures all kinds of things: headaches, period cramps, Lyme disease, boredom.” In the show’s pilot episode, the ladies attempt to land a spot in LA’s “Green 15” listing of the city’s coolest drug dealers by capturing a selfie with a big-name celebrity client. As you can imagine, things do not go as planned.

“Mary + Jane” is mostly the work of creators Harry Elphont and Deborah Kaplan, who gave us the criminally underrated comedies Can’t Hardly Wait and Josie and the Pussycats. Underneath all the stand-issue dope jokes, “Mary + Jane” is a snarky, savvy skewing of painfully hip LA lifestyles. While dropping off their goods, Domino’s-style, Paige and Jordan navigate an LA County filled with man-buns, hoverboards and graffiti-artists-turned-DJs. At one point the best friends/business partners pop by for lunch at the town’s (currently) trendiest spot, a toast restaurant with “no butter, no jam, no spreads. Also no coffee. No drinks of any kind.” It’s in moments like this that the show finds its groove.

Shot digitally and on the quick, “Mary + Jane” doesn’t exactly boast much style. Apropos of late-night MTV, the show features some rather generic raunchy dialogue (censored, of course—because basic cable). It also falls back on the occasional lame visual gag (like a running joke about a leg-humping dog, who “talks” via subtitles). Capping off the show’s flaws, Snoop Dogg’s alleged “theme song” sounds like it was written, on the fly, in the 28 seconds it took to record it on his iPhone in a Wendy’s bathroom.

But when this show is spoofing trend-hugging contemporary youth culture (you know, the kind that MTV embraces like a longtime lover), it’s on point. Or as the trendy people say, “on fleek.” Do they still say that? If they do, they’re silly.

“Mary + Jane” premieres Monday, Sept. 5, at 11pm, on MTV.


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